How to Book-Swap & Party / Fri. December 8

The Reader Berlin, Victor Breidenbach and Siena Powers invite you to celebrate the 3rd edition of How to Book Swap and Party!

The details:  Friday December 8th at Das Gift Starting at 19:30

All you need to bring are 2-3 books, be ready to swap and read the text below.

Posters will be available for sale on the day.


How to Book-Swap & Party

(Text by Victor Breidenbach)

  1. Books, what weird objects! Why are they like that?
  1. It is time to let go of the fantasy that you will ever read Thomas Mann’s Der Zauberberg or Alfred Döblin’s Berlin Alexanderplatz, they have been judging you from their high shelf for long enough now. You are an adult and will never find the time to read them. Let someone else carry the burden for a while, or give them to an unemployed friend.
  1. So the book-swap is also about saying goodbye to the ambitions that are weighing us down. It’s about getting free.
  1. Bring books for the pile, but also make specific gifts to friends or foes. Offer unsolicited advice. Gift the anti-racism books to your racist friends. Gift with care and tough-love. There may be hard feelings, which is why there will be wine and wrestling referees.
  1. Don’t bring the books from the bottom of your book barrel, just like you wouldn’t bring a broken ladder to a friend that needs to change a lightbulb in their high ceilinged Altbau-apartment. You would bring a sturdy and safe ladder that gets the job done.
  1. Books are tools, and we need to start sharing ours with intent. Think not about what this book will say about you, if it will make you seem smart or sophisticated, think about what the people need. The people need to feel less alone, to laugh more, to be less cruel, and to get practical things done safely, like changing a light bulb or keeping houseplants alive.
  1. Give the short books to your busy friends, the long books to your unemployed friends.
  1. Did our hands just reach for the same copy of Deleuze & Guattari’s Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature? Did, as we touched, our furtive glances meet?
  1. We all have that one book we think the motels should carry. This is your chance to spread the word of your god.
  1. Maybe there are books you need to burn publicly. We won’t judge you! It is, after all, no longer summer, and fires keep the people warm.
  1. Give your stupid ex the self-help book they so desperately need.
  1. Edify the people with your zines, spread your propaganda pamphlets and print us your short stories.
  1. This is a chance to mix it up and challenge yourself, to try unfamiliar moves. Do you feel very possessive about your books? Let go of a really nice one that you think a friend would treasure. Are you unable to put your foot down in social situations? Bring your favorite book and defend it with your life against the greedy bibliophiles.
  1. We don’t all need our own copy of the new Sally Rooney novel. Refrain from your purchase and someone will lend you theirs.
  1. Here are some things you can do if a property dispute arises: a) propose to cut the book in half, then see who will forfeit it to the other person, thereby showing that they love it more and are more deserving of it. b) make the other person agree, by means of rhetoric, that you need it more. c) thumb war. d)staring contest. e) wrestle until submission. f) move in together, you now share a library.
  1. You are allowed to make your offers conditional. They have to listen to your lecture on byzantine mosaics if they want that art history volume, or they need to tell you about their reading experience over coffee once they’re done.
  1. Bring your secret agendas. Maybe you haven’t done drugs in a while and really want to. Maybe you want to socialize your puppy to larger groups of people.
  1. Try to sell someone a book they don’t want. Really give it your best, work all the angles. Maybe you have a future in sales, and this party is where you discover it.
  1. Books are windows to the world, and what good are the windows if we do not open them to let the wind in. Grab an airport novel and hide in a nook somewhere. Maybe someone will bring you a handful of nuts, as the pilgrims do with the hermits. Stand on a chair and recite catholic devotional poetry, etc.
  1. Did you judge a book by its cover and the content is only so-so? Some people need the nice covers for their cover collection. You are here to find out, you are here to close exciting deals, to create win-win situations, to haggle, to dupe and be duped.
  1. The piles of books are so many dead trees. As you walk to the book-swap from the U-Bahn, take a moment to thank them for their many services.
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